Lately, I have been thinking about the generosity of women. Over the years, I have heard countless stories from women clients, friends and family members full of themes of touching devotion to the emotional climate of relationships, working hard for relational change, taking care of others in times of need, holding the needs and desires of others in their hearts, organizing everything from A to Z. It's amazing really, the level of multi-tasking, relationship-wise and task-wise women are capable of. It's a gift, hard-wired into our brains and reinforced by our culture. We keep the engine of the world running. Sometimes I try to imagine how much better our world would be if women turned these talents towards themselves more frequently. It's the double whammy of living in a frenetic world, which pulls for over-busyness and an inherent predilection to orient oneself towards the needs of others.
The reality is that women matter, too. We need to become full of the desire to take as good care of ourselves as we take of others. So often women feel guilty for taking time for themselves. We often live by the As Soon As I.... model, which is as soon as I finish taking care of everyone and everything else then I will take care of myself. It can be a challenge and this challenge can vary depending on where we are in our life cycle. If we have young kids or aging parents that demand almost on-call attention, we can convince ourselves that there is no time for the self. I like Angeles Arrien's take on this when she recommends that we envision a well of water inside of us and a number of bowls outside of us. Then, visualize putting a little water in each bowl, when the bowls are empty we have given what we can. It is important that we have enough water for left ourselves
Rest, Restore and Renew, when you can, in small chunks or large chunks, it will make a difference in your life and in your relationships.
graphic by: chris wucherer